Last Thursday was Todd’s birthday. We went whale watching with about 12 friends from the Olón area on a boat tour that our friends Doug and Debby, (and his brother, Don) arranged, and it was a fun day! We were accompanied on the boat by another group of six (Italians, I think).
The barcos shove off from Puerto Lopez (45 minute drive north of us), and there are many tour operators to choose from. The day was overcast – as usual, this time of year – and September is pretty much the end of whale season (the best time to see the humpback whales here – ballenas jorobadas – is in July and August), but still, we followed a pod of up to 7 huge whales and a baby for about 2 hours. They swam and breached right in front of the boat. Amazing! We were joined by a second boat from another tour operator for the show.
We’ve had a lot of guests and friends take these whale-watching expeditions (about an hour boat-ride from shore), and many have gotten spectacular pictures of whales breaching 20-30 feet out of the water, or blowing huge water spouts, or “somersaulting” or capturing a photo magic moment of a large tail fin diving and flapping inches from the boat.
|Most of my pics turned out|
After a couple of hours, both boats anchored just off the Isla “Horno de Pan” (“Bread Oven Island”), a popular dive spot, for a light lunch and a chance for those who wanted to jump in the water for some snorkeling.
In Spanish, “Palo Santo” is literally translated as “holy tree” or “holy wood” and has been used for centuries for ceremonial and medicinal purposes. The wood chips make for an intoxicating smelling incense – that also repels mosquitos – and the pure essential oil from the tree has some amazing healing properties for a number of ailments.
Todd and I are enthusiastic fans of the authentic, hand crafted oil (not exactly cheap), and when we have it, we regularly use it on our achy joints and muscles pains, and within a day or two, experience noticeable relief. It can also be made into a tea to drink.
One of the more interesting and wonderful properties about authentic palo santo essential oil is that it can only be extracted from dead trees or branches, so no live tree is sacrificed.
Doug and Debby
And welcome back, Karl (who bought one of the last lots available in Jardines de Olón and is now beginning his building project).